Oaklands Construction Management students got to make their mark on one of St Albans most iconic building projects, thanks to a work experience placement with one of the UK’s leading independent construction and property service companies, Willmott Dixon.
Level 3 students Aleks Niedzweicka, 17 of Stevenage and Krystal Hutchinson, also 17 from Letchworth got the opportunity to join the team working on the city’s ambitious brand new Museum and Galleries project – a multi-million pound transformation of the landmark Georgian Grade II Listed Town Hall and Courthouse in the city centre.
The duo joined the team on a day release placement over a four-week period, and during that time were tasked with jobs including measurement and checking of new doors to the project. They were also invited to attend the many walks around site to carry out updates on progress, safety, environment and client visits.
Aleks and Krystal chose to approach the Letchworth-based construction firm to make the best opportunity from the mandatory work experience hours all students must complete when they undertake a study programme at the College.
By taking the initiative to set up a placement themselves, they found something they were really interested in which has confirmed their passion for the industry.
Krystal said: “I started with an interest in project surveying, with a view to go into Project Management. Being in this environment has not only confirmed that this is the industry for me, but opened my mind to job roles I had not considered. It boosted my confidence in what I already know, and made me realise there’s still loads to learn on the job.”
Aleks said: “To get behind the scenes on such a high profile local project was a great opportunity. Learning how and why we can use the skills we learn to respect historic buildings in renovations made this so much more than a usual new build. It was a great experience.”
Jon Allworth, Construction Manager at Wilmott Dixon said: “Construction sites can be overwhelming and intimidating but both Aleks and Krystal embraced the experience and fully immersed themselves.
“Both girls were a pleasure to teach and share our knowledge and experience of how the construction industry works. At Willmott Dixon we are eager to encourage more females into an industry that is challenging, fun and offers a rewarding career.”